Aaron Rodgers Publicly Advocates For Legalizing Psychedelics

By Jason Hall

June 22, 2023

New York Jets Introduce Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Photo: Getty Images

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers publicly advocated for the legalization of psychedelics at a conference celebrating the substances in Denver on Wednesday (June 21).

"Is it not ironic that the things that actually expand your mind are illegal and the things that ... dumb you down have been legal for centuries? We've got to change that. We've got to change that. It's through awareness and education," Rodgers said via ProFootballTalk.

Rodgers acknowledged that he's faced criticism for his outspoken support of psychedelics, specifically ayahuasca, online.

“I guarantee you all these bums who want to come after me online about my experience and stuff, they’ve never tried it,” Rodgers added. “They’re the perfect people for it. We need to get these people taking it.”

The Jets acquired Rodgers in a blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers, with whom the quarterback spent the entirety of his 18-year NFL career, in April. Rodgers had previously announced his intention to play for the Jets during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show prior to the completion of a deal.

Rodgers met with Jets owner Woody Johnson and a contingent of team representatives in California on March 7. New York had previously acquired Rodgers' predecessor, Brett Favre, in a trade with the Packers in 2008, which led to the eventual four-time NFL MVP taking over as Green Bay's starting quarterback for the remainder of his tenure with the franchise. In January, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Jets were "a very real scenario" in a possible trade for Rodgers even prior to the recent hiring of Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator, who had previously held the same position in Green Bay and Rodgers had publicly praised following his hiring as the Denver Broncos' head coach last offseason.

Rodgers led the NFL's top scoring offense during the first of two consecutive Associated Press Most Valuable Player award-winning seasons in 2020, both of which took place during Hackett's tenure with the Packers. The 39-year-old signed a three-year, $150 million extension with the Packers last offseason amid previous reports of being disgruntled with the franchise.

Rodgers was coming off back-to-back MVP seasons ahead of the 2022 NFL season, which resulted in Green Bay missing the playoffs after clinching a postseason berth during the previous three consecutive seasons and 11 of the past 13 years.

Rodgers leads all Packers quarterbacks with 475 touchdowns and ranks second in franchise history behind only Favre in QB wins (147), completions (5,001) and passing yards (7,660).

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